The Fulton Incident

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Note: I came into contact with Jordan Ekeroth sometime last year when he started his Follow and Engage blog. A blog that was very near and dear to the mission I set out to accomplish with JBG. Since then, I’ve managed to keep up with him via Facebook and follow his exploits as a new writer for GameChurch. Via twitter the other day, I noticed that he was launching a book, “The Fulton Incident”, and so I thought I’d take it for a whirl.

The Fulton Incident

Jordan Ekeroth’s debut novel, “The Fulton Incident”, opens with a man who is barely getting by. Drowning in business and student loan debts, Josh Fulton, Ekeroth’s protagonist, is living out the new American dream. When not running an auto repair shop or pining away for the girl that got away, Fulton bravely goes on mission trips into the city to feed the homeless. Josh is a typical American leading what many would call a normal life, when he happens to notice a political figure at a local hotel. Armed with a camera, Fulton captures this figure with a woman who is not his wife. The lift hill of the roller coaster is about over at this point of the novel. The rest of of “The Fulton Incident” is a steep decent down a course filled with intrigue, suspense, and motorcycle-driven action. But is any of what Josh Fulton experiences real?

.: The Good :.

One of the subtle themes of the book is that of creating idols. In Josh Fulton’s case, her name was Angelica:

“They stood smiling at each other for a few moments and despite the cacophony of distractions surrounding them, neither was willing to break eye contact. Josh felt as though in those few moments, this girl he’d just met somehow saw deeper into his soul than anyone, possibly even himself, had ever seen.”

Angelica ends up going away. Josh never sees her again. He constantly wonders what and why all the while building her, in his mind, into something she could never have been. I’ve seen a lot of guys do this with women who have broken their hearts. I like how Jordan plays with this theme.

.: The Bad :.

“He told me that he had been so tired of the world that day. He had seen so clearly that he had been living for nothing but his own comfort. Everything that was his life: his job, his friendships, his hobbies, his religion, existed only as a system for him to avoid any real pain, and thus avoid really living.”

What does this mean? Are we relegating different pain levels?

When we first meet Josh Fulton, he is in a world of real pain. Lost relationships (Angelica, his parents), ticking time bomb finances (he could lose his auto repair shop), these are real pains.

How is Josh not living? He owns his own business, he is active in ministry, the guy clearly has a life. What about Ecclesiastes 5:18-20 –

18 This is what I have observed to be good: that it is appropriate for a person to eat, to drink and to find satisfaction in their toilsome labor under the sun during the few days of life God has given them—for this is their lot. 19 Moreover, when God gives someone wealth and possessions, and the ability to enjoy them, to accept their lot and be happy in their toil—this is a gift of God. 20 They seldom reflect on the days of their life, because God keeps them occupied with gladness of heart. (NIV)

There is a quiet undercurrent in this book that attacks the Christian norm. This is good. However, there is also the message that we can only find purity in life when we lay down our possessions and go live in the slums. Not sure about that.

Overall the book is a page turner, I couldn’t wait to see where the story was going to go next. By the time the story rounded into the station, I found my curiosity satisfied. “The Fulton Incident” is one heck of a ride well worth the $2.99 admission fee.

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6 thoughts on “The Fulton Incident

  1. Bryan, thanks for taking the time to write this!

    The idea of Josh feeling as though he wasn’t really *living* was something that I rooted in my own experiences when I began the book. On the surface, both him and I had plenty going on, but beneath all that, a sort of existential storm of worry and anxiety was quietly raging. I love that you quoted Ecclesiastes, because that book as a whole was very influential on this story! (See Ecc 2:17)

    As for the seeming moral of the story, about moving to the slums, you’re right on point with your criticisms. I don’t think it’s the only way to “find purity,” but I do think it’s an interesting challenge: If we, in our lives, aren’t doing these superficially radical things, what ARE we doing to “find purity?”

    Again, great review!

    • I’m super curious about the book. And as a non-e-book reader, I have to ask: Can I read the book on an iPhone? It’s not my preference. But I really do want to read it.

      Also, Jordan, how many pages is it?

      As I read the description, it sounded like you wrote the book about yourself. I can relate. The book/game/thing that I wrote was probably a lot more about me than I aimed for it to be. I kept trying to make the main character different from me, but it wasn’t sticking. I was writing about myself. But somewhere I put the pen down. Maybe it’s time to pick it up again? It’s hard for me to stop writing about games and get back to writing games. I’m afraid that I won’t like what I come back to after all I’ve learned over the past year.

      • As Brian said, it’s entirely possible to read on a Kindle app. Translating to print, I think it would be just less than 200 pages.

        Also, I’d say there is the definite temptation when writing a character to just make them you, and I tried hard to resist the temptation, however there’s no denying that certain events in my personal life experience heavily influenced some of the book’s more subtle (or perhaps not-so-subtle) themes.

        And I’m sure that when you go back to your project you’ll find a lot that you need to trim, but, speaking from the experience of actually, finally, finishing a rather large project, I can promise you, it’s so worth it!

    • It’s crazy how storms are a major component of the Christian life (man, is Ecc 2:17 bleak). My wife recently reminded me that while Christ ministers to us on the spiritual mountaintops, it is more so in the valleys that He walks with us and shows us that our strength is not needed. I’ve been learning a lot about that lately.

      I’d agree that our lives, as Christians, are supposed to look different from those around us…and not just on some superficial level. On Wednesday nights, I’ve been teaching through David Platt’s Follow Me. Platt, so far, has said that being a Christian is all about action. About Christ infiltrating our thoughts, desires, relationships, etc. Has been extremely challenging.

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